The more that I watch film on Ja’Wuan James, the more I fall in love with his physicality and toughness as an offensive lineman. I don’t know about anyone else, but I would love to have an offensive lineman that is 6-foot-6, 311 pounds that will block for his running backs and quarterbacks.
From the little film that I was able to watch on Ja’Wuan before the draft, I knew that he would become an immediate starter on whatever team he got drafted by. Luckily for the Dolphins, he fell right onto their lap, although some do ask why they picked James over three offensive lineman that were graded higher than he was.
Whatever the critics say, he is going to make an impact from the moment he steps foot onto the football field.
On film, he plays like his hair is on fire. His quickness and awareness off the ball is what really impressed me the most. Most offensive lineman that we see nowadays wait for the defender in front of them to engage with them, but James doesn’t wait for defenders to come to him, he goes to the defender. Once he makes contact with his defender, he is not going to let go.
He has good enough leverage and strength in his upper body to be able to fight off any type of pass rush that is presented to him. James is a big body that takes up a lot of space and when he gets moving, two things can happen: he will either run straight through a defender or he will run straight through multiple defenders. If I played running back for the Dolphins, it would feel like Christmas came early.
It’s hard enough to find a quality lineman that will block the quarterback’s blind side, and it is even harder in my opinion to find a lineman that will protect the front side of the line. The Dolphins this year play against some of the top defensive lines in football. Aside from the obvious divisional teams like the Patriots, Bills and Jets, Miami is also facing Denver’s defensive line that includes Von Miller and Demarcus Ware, the Green Bay Packers’ front with Clay Matthews, and others that are all going to be looking to expose James of his ability to play his position. That is why it is so important that he gets his feet wet right away because if Miami wants him to be the next “Jake Long of the right side,” his impact on the Dolphins’ offense needs to be made right away.